Small businesses often suffer from being too unknown to gain any marketing traction and a good level of visibility. There is a simple method to combat this by reaching out to just one person.
If you can contact a key influencer and persuade them to feature your product or business you can gain significant exposure for your brand.
Learn more about how you can gain access to a large audience within your target market by connecting with key influencers in this article.
What Is A Key Influencer?
A key influencer is a person or company who has gained the trust of an audience. Often the influencer has a very niche topic which they discuss. Through their activities they gain influence over their audience. With a good review, or with carefully selected words, their audience can be persuaded to make a purchase.
Key influencers are available on a variety of different platforms. There are those who blog while others are more influential on social media or in public speaking roles.
Why Is An Influencer So Important To Your Marketing Campaigns?
An influencer can contribute significantly to generating traffic to your site or product sales because they have spent a considerable amount of time building a trusting audience. This high level of trust has been proven to drive actions.
It isn’t just the immediate access to the influencer’s audience which you can gain access to. Because of the status an influencer enjoys with their audience; their recommendations are passed onto the peers of their audience as well. If the influencer recommends your social media accounts; friends and family of your influencer’s audience will also be exposed to those connected with your new brand.
Therefore, with the right influencer you can gain exponential growth in your business’ exposure, lead generation and revenue.
Is Celebrity Endorsement The Same?
In the past businesses would use celebrity endorsements to drive similar actions in television, radio and poster adverts. Due to the amount of money often paid to these famous people, their influence has now waned.
An example would be the Twitter Snickers incident where celebrities posted seemingly unconnected selfies of themselves with the chocolate bar. It was soon discovered Mars, Snickers’ parent company, had paid for the celebrities to create the tweets.
The UK advertising standards agency conducted an investigation into whether or not any marketing rules had been broken. The company was cleared in March 2012, however the public were not happy that many UK celebrities had participated in the marketing stunt.
This isn’t the only time when celebrity endorsement has caused problems for brands.
Oprah Winfrey had recommended the book “A Million Little Pieces” by author James Frey. Once the book had been placed on the book club selection it was propelled to best-seller status.
Later it was revealed Frey had made up many key parts of his memoirs. This not only damaged the author’s reputation but also that of Oprah and her book club.
How To Choose An Influencer
You need to be sure you have the right influencer. The criteria for finding the best influencer is not complex but there is little margin for error. The key aspect to look for is whether their audience is the same as yours.
It is likely that if you are interested in speaking to or listening to what the individual has to say, they will have some connection to your target audience. To be sure, do an audience profiling session.
For example, if you are a restaurant and you want to invite food bloggers to eat in your restaurant, ensure you have the right bloggers. Some bloggers will concentrate on certain types of food like healthy eating or Italian. Their target audience might also be limited to a certain demographic like young singletons or mature couples or those in a specific location. Getting the audience right will give you better results.
You also have to match the type of endorsement you are looking to create. Some influencers will only mention you in passing or do product placements. Other influencers will go a little more in-depth and offer full reviews.
A mention of your company will do little if you sell products on Amazon or Ebay and have no website. Likewise, if you are a service brand you’ll want the influencer to concentrate on the experiences they have while interacting with your brand.
How To Convince An Influencer To Endorse And Advertise Your Product
When you approach an influencer you need to ensure you are not just looking at how the deal can benefit you. Businesses tend to entice recommendations from influencers by offering free experiences, gifts or samples. Common offers include:
- Free meals at restaurants.
- Free food samples.
- Free tickets to attend an event / attraction.
- Free product samples.
Car manufacture Lexus gave an all expenses paid trip for daddyblogger.com owner Ricky Shetty to test drive their new car models. After the trip, Ricky posted reviews of his experiences on his blog and this gained significant attention for Lexus.
It is best to stay away from profit sharing or commission schemes. Although there is a place for affiliate marketing online, influencers can have their reputations damaged if cash is involved. This is because audiences feel cash payments create a physiological requirement for the receiver (i.e. the influencer) to be positive to the payee.
It is also probably far cheaper for your brand to give away a free product than to give money.
The influencer could earn affiliate sales if they link to your product through another affiliate scheme. But it is best done via a third party so that their recommendation remains unbiased.
The vast majority of your potential customers are now distrustful of celebrity endorsements, mainly due to the cash payments involved. Individuals are now more likely to trust a blog or an influencer who is independent of the brands being advertised.
Therefore, seek out influencers in your industry and see if they will feature your product. Offering free samples of your product and service can often support your efforts to gain extra exposure.
- Identify key influencers in your industry and check their audience matches your target market.
- Offer the influencer a free product sample to feature your product in some way.
- Promote the influencer and the feature through your own audience.